Good news for anybody who is tired of going to Schiphol and finding yourself lost in the huge holiday crowds: NOS is in the possession of a draft decision from the European Commission which will now give permission to airlines to distribute their flights between Schiphol and Lelystad Airport.
Lelystad Airport? I’ve never heard of it!
I hear ya! Neither have I so after some quick investigative journalism, I found out that Lelystad Airport is actually not that far from the Randstad. It is only one and a half hours away from Amsterdam Central Station, nearly three hours from Rotterdam Central Station, two hours from The Hague, and two hours from Utrecht Central Station (which includes multiple transfers).
Barely anything, right?
Freeing up Schiphol during the holiday season
It is owned by the Schiphol Group and is said to be the largest general aviation airport in the Netherlands. Jokes, sarcasm and Randstad arrogance apart, the opening up of this airport will relieve Schiphol of a lot of pressure and crowds it receives during the holidays. This has been in the works for nearly two years now, and The Hague and Brussels seem to be ready to finally come to a unanimous decision.
As they want to encourage this, airlines who willingly give up their spots at Schiphol or use them for transfer flights will be given priority at Lelystad. This priority will be valid for 25,000 flights in a year. As of now, only Transavia has shown interest in moving to Lelystad, and its parent company, KLM, will be using its slots for transfer flights. However, TUI and EasyJet want to stay put, and Corendon will make the move only under “certain conditions”.
When will Lelystad Airport be in full operation?
That’s going to be difficult to say. They were planning on opening in April 2020, but it seems that they will have to rethink that date and postpone it. As of now, the formal decision will be released by the end of September. But their problems don’t stop there. They have to also appease resident groups in Gelderland and Overijssel by redesigning the airport so that they no longer have “low-flying” routes.
What do you make of this? Do you think that more airlines would be willing to move to Lelystad Airport, or do you think this will not gain momentum anytime soon? Let us know in the comments below!